Modern Theology 35 (3):542-557 (2019)

Martin explores divine simplicity according to the twentieth‐century Catholic theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar. She grants that Balthasar does not provide a traditional presentation of the attribute of divine simplicity. In his doctrine of the Trinity, Balthasar emphasizes such themes as distance, “hiatus,” and infinite difference, none of which seems to promise a robust doctrine of divine simplicity. Indeed, some have suggested that Balthasar's Trinitarian theology does not allow for traditional claims about divine simplicity. Martin argues, however, that one finds in Balthasar's Trinitarian theology the doctrine of divine simplicity, assumed as an internalized starting point and rooted in his understanding of the analogia entis. This can be seen, for example, in his various engagements with Aquinas as well as with contemporary thinkers such as Gustav Siewerth and Erich Przywara. Likewise, when addressing the issue of whether the Trinitarian Persons can be “counted” according to our normal understanding of number, he insists with Evagrius that God is simple. In the same context, he similarly draws upon Plotinus, Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory Nazianzen, Tertullian, Ambrose, and Aquinas. Martin therefore gives particular attention to the Theo‐Logic and to Balthasar's affirmation in his Trinitarian theology of the points that the divine Persons are fully God, the divine attributes are identical with each other in God, and the distinction of Persons has to do not with three parts of God but with opposed subsistent relations.
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DOI 10.1111/moth.12519
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